History of OpenStreetMap in Ireland

Last week I was invited to give a workshop at the Second Irish OSGeo Conference in Portlaoise. The event was a great success with a attendees from across the OSGeo space, from academics to startups.

I also volunteered to give a talk on OpenStreetMap (OSM) in Ireland. Since we are currently in the process of setting up an official chapter of OSM in Ireland. Check out OpenStreetmaMap.ie if you want to help.

Check out my full talk: here

But some of the visuals are more interesting than the talk as a whole.

To start out, the first edits in Ireland.

The first line:

Located in Banbridge, in Northern Ireland between Newry and Belfast:

First polygon:

Clearly St. Stephens Green, a great park in Dublin:

Then a look at the full history of roads in Ireland on OpenStreetMap:


A large part of the history of OpenStreetMap in Ireland is the townlands project. Townlands in Ireland are small divisions of land, often used in addressing for example. Your address could be: Mr. O’Brien, Blue house, Tawny (the townland), Donegal. The postman knows where you are.

There are over 61,000 townlands in Ireland. Traced manually from 650+ out of copyright OSi maps from Trinity College. Check out Townlands.ie for more info.

The project ran from 2012 to 2017 and the progress is clear when charting the history of boundaries in OpenStreetMap in Ireland:


And since the conference was held in Portlaoise, here is how it looks over time in OSM:


For the script to generate these histories see: Creating OpenStreetMap History Visualisations

Finland 100 with 90 years of Finnish hockey

Finland is 100 years old today.

It has been a rich history. It is a young country, with myself being alive for almost a third of it.

In honour of #Finland100. Here is 90 years of Finnish hockey champions:

Starting with the 1927-1928 season with six teams the Finnish championship started with the SM-Sarja.
“S” for Suomen meaning Finnish.
“M” for Mestaruus meaning Championship
“Sarja” meaning series

The first year consisted of the following teams:
Viipurin Reipas – Viipuri Swift
HIFK – Sporting Society Comrades, Helsinki – Future 7 time champions
HJK – Helsinki Football Club – Future 3 time champions
KIF – Kruununhaka Sports Club (Helsinki) – Future 3 time champions
Tapa – Tampere Ballers – Future champions
HPS – Helsinki Ball Club

With ice hockey still being a very new sport in 1927 the victory went to Viipurin Reipas, primarily a football and bandy club. Located in Viipuri, a city which was lost to Russia after the Winter War.

At this stage ice hockey was purely an amateur sport, with sports clubs taking part in ice hockey as part of a larger program. Most often football in the summer and ice hockey in the winter, but also combined with other sports.

After Viipuri the championship went to Helsinki, with their football club. While no longer active in ice hockey they are still active in the highest level of Finnish football.

The Helsinki – Tampere fight for hockey championship was established early, with 1930-1930 seeing a standing of:
Helsinki 1
Tampere 1
Viipuri 1

The next few years also saw the Helsinki Figure Skating Club (HSK) win the championship, three times in total.

1939 to 1945 were crucial years for Finnish history. The war with Russia was one for the survival of Finland as a whole.
Some sacrifices had to be made.

The 1939-1940 season was completely called of for the Winter War. During which the captain of Tampere Ilves (3 time champions at the time, and 16 time champions all time) Jussi Tiitola was killed, among others.

The 1940–1941 season was played in between hostilities as an 8 team series.

1941–1942 was cancelled for the Continuation War.

1942–1943 was played as an 8 team series. With KIF winning their third championship in a row, discluding pauses for war.

The 1943–1944 season was started but a mass bombing of the Helsinki Kaisaniemi stadium called the season short. It was agreed that if Tampere Ilves (who had 0 losses at the time) could beat Tarmo and KIF they would be awarded the championship. They beat Tarmo, but unfortunately the transport connections between Tampere and Helsinki were bombed the day before the Ilves – KIF match. Thus the championship was never awarded.

The after war period saw a domination from the Tampere. With 18 championships in 24 years. With Ilves winning 11 and TBJ/Tappara winning 6 and KOO-VEE 1.

But notably champions from other cities aside from Helsinki and Tampere emerged.

Like TPS from Turku first champions in 1956, but future 11 time champions.

Tarmo (no longer active) from Hämeenlinna winning two in a row.

Lukko from Rauma winning their only championship so far in 1963, coming close in the future; with silver: 1961, 1966, 1988, and bronze: 1965, 1969, 1994, 1996, 2011, 2014.

And Pori, with RU-38 in 1967, Porin Karhut in 1965, and together as Porin Ässät (Pori Aces) in 1971.

While the SM-Series was mainly amateur it changed into the SM-Liiga in 1975, bringing with it a move to a professional sport.

This also introduced the playoffs to determine the overall champions. Also a relegation system was introduced, with teams coming last in the SM-Liiga facing relegation to a lower division and giving lower teams and opportunity for promotion.

The first championship outside of Southern Finland went to Oulu in 1981.

1985 was the latest championship for Ilves, their 16th in total.

Kärpät won again in 2004, and 2005 with back to back championships. With two more back to back championships to come.

With JYP from Jyväskylä winning in 2008 the total of cities with victories comes to 9.

The Ilves crown of 16 championships was met by Tappara (formerly TBK) in 2016, and beat in 2017 with back-to-back victories.

Here’s to another 100 years and more of hockey in Finland.

Glasgow Regions Mapped – Progress Update 1

You can read the initial post at: Mapping Glasgow Districts

We have had some great progress on the mapping so far. There have been 367 regions mapped to date. However, as mentioned in the original post, there are a huge number of regions in Glasgow so even with over 300 responses many regions have only one response and others are still unmapped. But in the hopes of encouraging some more responses I felt it would be nice to show what progress has been made to date.

Statistics so far:
Unique region names so far: 241

Most mapped regions:
City Centre – 10
Finnieston – 9
Merchant City – 9
Dennistoun – 8
Partick – 7
West End – 7
Garnethill – 6
Hyndland – 6
Woodlands – 5
Hillhead – 5
Mount Florida – 5

Regions so far. Click for PDF version.

We can see that there are still quite a few regions that have had the same number of responses with multiple region names.

We can look at what these responses have been, in an interactive map:

Full Screen.

We can see that the West End in general has been the target of a large number of responses, so we can drill in a little further:


Extent of the west end:

West End

Individual regions:





Charing Cross









Kelvingrove Park



Not Partick

Park Circus





West Maryhill





A final note, there have been some creative responses as well, as expected. But the flagging system on the mapping page has worked incredibly well.

A huge thanks if you have responded.

Mapping an Integer

So just before Christmas I received my own “hand-crafted”, “unique”, and “hella-beautiful” integer. From Brooklyn Integers: 404578811.


I was not initially sure what to do with it. But I had some time while waiting on points to appear in polygons so I though I would map my integer.

So we have a few combinations for co-ordinates:

  • 0, 404578811
  • 4 , 04578811
  • 40 , 4578811
  • 404 , 578811
  • 4045 , 78811
  • 40457 , 8811
  • 404578 , 811
  • 4045788 , 11
  • 40457881 , 1
  • 404578811, 0
  • And of course:

  • 404578811, 404578811
  • I have to say these do not translate very well into my current de facto co-ordinate system of British National Grid (0, 404578811 and 404578811, 0 and 404578811, 404578811 not shown).


    Luckily we can try some alternatives. Smathermather had a great post about mapping Null Island/Archipelago, so we can re-use some code. To map our integers to a selection of CRSs.

    CREATE OR REPLACE FUNCTION integer_mapping2(
        crs integer,
        x integer,
        y integer)
      RETURNS geometry AS
        BODY geometry;
    SELECT ST_Transform(ST_SetSRID(ST_MakePoint(x,y),crs), 4326) INTO BODY;
        RETURN NULL;
      LANGUAGE plpgsql;

    We use the EXCEPTION, because some of the more awkward co-ordinate combinations cannot be translated back to EPSG:4326 without causeing a SQL error.

    Then we can create our our tables.

    CREATE TABLE my_integer_ AS
    SELECT srid, integer_mapping2(srid, 404578811,404578811) as geom FROM spatial_ref_sys
        WHERE srid > 2000 AND srid < 4904;

    Replacing 404578811_404578811 as needed.



    By CRS:




    Album of the rest.

    It really shows how fragmented the EPSG codes are for New Zealand, and to a lesser extent the US.

    Every Person in Scotland on the Map

    Winner of the 2016 OS OpenData Award for Excellence in the use of OpenData from the British Cartographic Society.

    Full size.

    The mapping process creates a random point within a building shell inside of a postcode area, which is repeated for every person in a postcode. This is in contrast to a simpler process, which does not take into account buildings at all, working simply with postcode areas. This can be seen in my previous post: Population of Scotland Mapped

    Inspired by:
    The Guardian – Every person in England and Wales on a map by Chris Cross

    Based on the 2011 Scottish Census population data.

    Data from the National Records of Scotland.

    Combined with the Ordnance Survey, Open Map product.

    Rendered with: QGIS tile writer python script.